"AC/DC - the last indoor show"


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January 27th 2010
Published: January 27th 2010
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23rd April 09:

Everybody is looking forward to going home after the show tonight, except me. I’ve drawn the short straw and ‘volunteered’ to drop off a transformer or six somewhere in the depths of Ireland. By ‘depths’, I mean I have a map on the back of a cigarette packet, and instructions to meet Vinnie in an unmarked quarry at 8pm tomorrow night. And when I say ‘volunteered’, I mean I felt sorry for Little Dick who would prefer to see his daughters than mess about on ferries to Dublin again. You see, it’s his load that is going - in a weak moment of generosity, I said I’d do it. We swap trailers; he will go home after the show and I will head up to Holyhead AGAIN.

First though, I have my pal, Jon, to visit. Some may know him better as “Wrecker Jon”. He lives only quarter of an hour away from Birmingham’s NEC, and picks me up for a little jaunt to Meriden, the centre of England. Now that computers - and therefore GPS - have taken over our lives, Meriden has been found to be no longer dead centre. Coastal erosion has seen to that. A field nearby now holds the honour, but the monument remains on a patch of grass in Meriden, to all intents and purposes still marking the spot.

As well as two pubs and a chip shop, there is also a memorial to cyclists that died in World War II. Odd? Yes, until an informative Jon reminds me that the Triumph factory is only round the corner, and that there are lots of bicycle manufacturers in Coventry, spitting distance away. Steve McQueen once picked up a motorbike from that very factory.

Back at Jon’s pad in sunny Tile Hill, his partner Kim looks chained to the sink. Nice one Jonboy. I’m only joking of course, wholly in favour, as I am, of men doing the washing-up. Anyway, Jon used to bumble about trucking for bands - my partner in crime, if you like - but he now runs a guitar studio, unsuccessfully. OK, so he makes tuppence on a bottle of pop from visiting musicians but, sadly, forsaking work for artistic enterprise simply isn’t paying his bills. I feel a little glum that, despite being lead guitarist for the most popular band in the Coventry area - and looking like at least one of the Gallagher brothers in Oasis - he can barely stretch to a tin of tuna for my baguette.

We exchange rueful glances over a glass of Spanish red wine, my contribution to the picnic. What I like about Jon is his sense of humour, and cracking memory: he reminds me that eight years ago I was arm-wrestling a Mafia boss in a bar in St. Petersburg, Russia, sending the tables flying and smashing glasses. I don’t even remember that, intent as I was on getting a commie barmaid into bed. Ooh, am I rotten, always leaving you on a cliffhanger, desperate to know the outcome?


27th April: ("See you in May")


Well, that’s about it for the indoor leg; there is now a short break before starting the outdoor (stadium) leg of the tour - the first gig is in Leipzig on 13th May. Is this confusing, still re-writing 2009’s tour blogs? After all, the 2010 tour dates are now on the internet! If you want a sneak preview of this year’s tour dates, then check out www.pollstar.com and enter AC/DC into ‘Search’. Now, where’s the corkscrew in this house?..

(In real time, I'm just boarding a plane to Vegas, with a view to behaving deplorably for the weekend. Back soon..)


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